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YouTube launches Snapchat inspired ‘Reels’ video format

YouTube has launched Reels, a new feature inspired by the ‘stories’ video format first popularised by Snapchat and later adopted by other services like Instagram.

YouTu be_choose_reel_iphoneAnnouncing the new format, which will initally be available in beta to a select group of content creators, YouTube said that Reels is designed to offer an easy way for users to express themselves and engage with fans.

“Reels are YouTube’s spin on the popular ‘stories’ format, but designed specifically for YouTube creators,” said senior YouTube product manager, Roy Livne, in a company blog post.

“We learned that you want the flexibility to create multiple Reels and have them not expire, so we’ll give you those options. We’re also bringing creator-focused features like linking to YouTube videos and YouTube-y stickers.”

The launch comes as YouTube rolls out its non-video Community features to YouTube creators with more than 10,000 subscribers.

YouTube first started testing Community about a year ago, allowing a small number of creators to interact with fans between video uploads with new features like polls, pictures, text and GIFs.

YouTube said it has now tested and refined this product, and will do the same thing with Reels before it is introduced more widely to YouTube content creators.